Robert Rowland, a Brexit Party MEP representing the South East, was humiliated today after questioning the academic expertise of Green MEP Molly Scott Cato in the European Parliament.
Rowland, after requesting a “blue card” intervening question during Scott Cato’s speech, asked her to explain how she knows that leaving the EU will cause an economic cliff edge, saying “as far as I’m aware, she does not have any degree in economics”.
“I would just like to ask Ms Scott Cato what empirical proof she has that the end of the transition period when we will be leaving the European Union – hopefully on a Canada-plus style trade deal – will result in a cliff edge when, as far as I’m aware, she does not have any degree in economics.
“And maybe she has some business experience that will give some empirical proof that that would be the case? So I was wondering whether you could answer that question, why you’re so certain that the United Kingdom will suffer as a result of a –” [Rowland was then cut off by the Vice-President for going over the time limit for questions]
Scott Cato then explained to Rowland: “Obviously you haven’t been paying much attention to my CV because I was, and I remain, a professor of economics.”
“I also have expertise in trade policy and have been studying the trade negotiations from the beginning. I rely on the expertise of other trade experts, all of whom have said it takes much longer than the time available to negotiate a treaty. And the likelihood is if we go ahead with Boris Johnson’s deal, we will end up in exactly the same crisis facing a no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020.”
The Vice-President, Mairead McGuinness, concluded: “I think Mr Rowland stands corrected.”
For Rowland’s reference, Scott Cato has or was:
- A BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford
- A PhD in Economics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
- An MSc in Advanced Social Research Methods from the Open University
- Professor of Green Economics at the University of Roehampton’s Business School since 2012, only part-time since she became an MEP in 2014
- Senior Lecturer and Reader in Green Economics at the Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2001 to 2012
- Director of Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies, 2007 to 2012
Rowland has a history of attempting to call out other politicians over their academic credentials. In July, he suggested David Lammy should “complete 3 years” at the “Chicago School of Economics”. No such institution exists. Lammy is an alumnus of Harvard Law School.
Watch the excruciating exchange between Rowland and Scott Cato yourself here.